Thursday, May 1, 2014

Vegetarian Buffalo "Chicken" and Spiced Brown Sugar Waffles

Well I can't believe it's been 4 months since I blogged last! Where has the time gone? Due to a new job, no daylight for photographing food, writing two novels, editing said novels and just overall being burnt out, this blog obviously took a hiatus. Oh, and Trader Joe's opened so I fell victim to the ease of delicious prepared food. However, I am taking a break from their Spelt Risotto and Sweet Potato Gnocci to start cooking a bit more from scratch. If you're still with me, thank you :) I appreciate your readership!

I probably first heard of chicken and waffles when I moved to North Carolina for college, and it seemed so weird to me. We rarely had fried chicken growing up, and our waffles were always at breakfast smothered in syrup and fruit. However, I saw them recently in a magazine and decided the sweet and savory combo sounded fantastic. I try to limit our fake meat consumption to once a week, and Trader Joe's chickenless fingers are my husbands favorite fake meat. We love any and all Buffalo chicken combinations, so I figured using a sweeter waffle then dousing these with buffalo sauce would taste great.

I used this recipe for Spiced Brown Sugar Waffles from Williams-Sonoma for the waffle portion of this meal as it turned up in a search for sweeter waffles. These waffles were delicious, just sweet enough with a hint of spice. They take a few extra steps, but it's worth it for a crisp outside and fluffy inside. If you decide to go with a traditional waffle, you may want to drizzle some maple syrup along with buffalo sauce, or skip the buffalo sauce all together (but....don't). My husband liked to make his waffle and chicken into a sort of taco, but these were delicious any way you make them. I served these with a bacon-less wedge salad on the side.

Vegetarian Buffalo "Chicken" and Spiced Brown Sugar Waffles

1 package chickenless chicken nuggets or tenders
1/2 c. buffalo sauce
4 waffles, recipe below

3 eggs, separated
1 3/4 c. buttermilk
1 stick butter, melted (or canola oil, I used 50/50)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar

Cook chickenless tenders according to package directions. 
While chicken cooks, prepare waffles.
Preheat waffle iron to medium-high heat.
Whisk together egg yolks, buttermilk, butter and vanilla.
Sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar together, stir into wet mixture .
In another bowl, beat egg whites until peaks form, fold into other mixture until just incorporated.
Grease waffle iron, spoon batter onto iron (about 1/3-1/2 c. depending on iron) and cook until golden, about 5-6 minutes.
Keep warm on a plate covered with foil until serving. 
Serve with chickenless tenders, a drizzle of buffalo sauce and maple syrup, if desired.